County, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Cape Hatteras
Electric Cooperative officials met with residents today in a community
meeting, hosted by the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, to address
recovery from Superstorm Sandy.
County commissioners Allen Burrus and Warren Judge, county manager
Bobby Outten, Susan Flythe from the CHEC, and Sterling Baker, division
maintenance engineer for NCDOT addressed 165 attendees and answered
questions. Many subjects were covered in the meeting which lasted
an hour and a half.
Flythe reported that there were no signs of damage to the main
transmission line on Hatteras. There was a little concern for one
pole at Mirlo Beach because of its proximity to the ocean. There
were some small problems around the island, which were being fixed as
they were found.
be thankful that the transmission lines held,” said Flythe, and her
comment drew an enthusiastic applause from the crowd. Most of the
island didn’t lose power during Sandy.
manager Bobby Outten said that Sandy was a huge storm that went on for
a long time, but it wasn’t as damaging as Irene. Early estimates
put storm damage to Dare County at $13 million with Kitty Hawk being
the worst hit. There were 400 homes damaged in the county, eight
destroyed and 50 that are uninhabitable. All damage was from
ocean storm surge.
dune loss was substantial. Much of the area north of the
temporary bridge on Pea Island had the dunes knocked down by the ocean,
and sand covered the road. Authorities expect that that Highway
12 is intact underneath the sand, which is 3 to 6 feet deep.
Clearing the road will take time. Crews will be working from
about 6 a.m. until about 8 p.m. daily.
have been discovered with the Pea Island Bridge, which went underwater
during the storm. The bridge itself is reported to be sound, but
both ramps on and off the bridge have been undermined. Sand was
scoured out from behind the wall underneath the bridge and DOT
officials are not sure how it will be repaired. The southbound
lane leading off the bridge has also been undermined.
Outten estimated that is will take about 3 weeks to repair these problems.
Bonner Bridge also sustained damage at the hand of Superstorm
Sandy. A railing came loose near the catwalk on the south
end. Fortunately, it was only a screw that came loose.
is a maintenance issue on the north side of the Bonner Bridge with the
section of bridge that was knocked out in October 1990 when a dredge
hit the span. This section is constructed differently than the
rest of the bridge because it was patched in, Baker said.
to Baker, the core slab in this section needs to be replaced. The
core slab is a stretch of blocks cemented together that measures
40-feet wide by 3-feet thick and has a thick steel cable running
through it. It’s the cable that needs tightening, and now is a
good time to do it since the road is closed, he said. It’s much
easier and faster when DOT does not have to keep a single lane open for
The bridge will be closed for two weeks for this repair.
The entire bridge has been inspected by divers and with 3D sonar scanners and is said to be structurally sound.
“Scour wise, it’s adequate,” Baker said.
was much of discussion about establishing a four-wheel-only route from
the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe. Given the situation with the
Bonner Bridge, this scenario is unlikely, officials said.
emergency ferry service that runs between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point
will make 10 runs a day and will continue until the road opens.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 2, restrictions will be lifted and everybody
will be allowed to come onto the island.
for ferry is expected to be higher on weekends when visitors are
typically traveling on or off the island. Outten also noted that
the early ferries are full. Locals were urged to travel on
such as food and gasoline trucks, will receive priority loading.
Others will be boarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
will be priority consideration given to people for medical needs, such
as surgery or chemotherapy, but not to those who are going to a
The county will be handling the collection of storm debris, not FEMA as with Hurricane Irene last fall.
debris to the street and we will pick it up,” said Outten.
“Please, we ask for your patience. It will take longer than in
garbage pickup is back to the normal schedule. Outten requested
that if your street is not clear from storm damage to take your trash
to the nearest open street. Bagged trash will be picked up at the
DOT’s priority is reestablishing travel on Highway 12 but will work on clearing or repairing side streets as soon as crews can.
All local government agencies have reopened since Sandy with the exception of Parks and Recreation, which will reopen Monday.
are no changes in the early voting for next Tuesday’s election.
Early voting continues as scheduled at the Fessenden Center.
Persons needing recovery help or who wish to volunteer should call 475-5500 or 475-9320 in Frisco.
evacuation was issued in advance of Superstorm Sandy for many reasons,
according to Outten. There were no hurricane force winds
forecast, and there were not all that many visitors on the
island. The county did not expect to lose power or water.
the incredible size of Sandy, which Outten likened to the size of the
Gulf of Mexico, where would the visitors evacuate to – back into the
path of the storm? It was expected that there would be travel
issues with Highway 12 but that can happen in any northeaster.
this recent emergency, Outten said the county used all possible means
to communicate with the public -- Twitter, Facebook, the county
website, e-mail, and radio. The development of a Hatteras Island
radio station is still moving forward.